Nice - French International Hatem Ben Arfa's move to Nice has run into administrative difficulties, the club announced on Monday.
Ben Arfa, 27, was released from his contract by Newcastle United after his loan deal with Premier League Hull City was cancelled, and agreed to return to France, signing an 18-month deal with Nice last week.
But the paperwork has still not gone through and he was unable to make his debut in the weekend's 3-1 win over Lorient.
And it now emerges that the stumbling block is the French Federation's refusal to rubber-stamp the deal until it receives the green light from FIFA.
The Federation are asking for clarification of "the rule which states a player cannot take part in official matches for three different clubs during the course of the same season", Nice explained on their official website.
Ben Arfa did not play for Newcastle in the Premier League after being disciplined by then manager Alan Pardew, and was subsequently loaned to Hull.
However, he did play in an English Under-21 Premier League game against Reading in August, while training with Newcastle reserves before joining Hull.
Although the English FA does not consider matches in the newly-formed under-21 league official fixtures, the French Federation want to make sure FIFA agree before clearing his move to Nice and issuing an international transfer certificate, Nice explained.